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KR Jewelry's #FridayFallFundraisers

posted by The Princess Shop    |   November 25, 2020 19:19

Those of you who follow us on Instagram know that KR Jewelry has been running the #FallFridayFundraiser in support of The Princess Shop since September 18th, 2020. The hashtag really explains most of it - each Friday, Karen Robson, owner, jewelry-maker extraordinaire, and past Princess Shop Executive Director, posts a new piece that people can bid on all day in her Instagram comments. 100% of the auction sale is donated to our organization and if Karen's commitment to The Princess Shop wasn't magical enough, her jewelry featuring gemstones such as Rainbow Moonstone, Labradorite, Pyrite, Onyx, and so much more take the cake. So far, the auction fundraiser has raised $1126.00 with one week left! We (virtually) interviewed her to feature the business that has been giving back since it was formed and running this specific fundraiser for three years now!

 All photos from KR Jewelry's Instagram.

All photos are from KR Jewelry's Instagram.


The Princess Shop has been shortened to TPS in the following questions:

 

TPS: Tell us more about the KR Jewelry brand  - what inspired you to start making jewelry?

Karen: It started as a gift in 2011! I had a budgie named Tookey who would drop beautiful feathers and my mom commented how they would make beautiful earrings. Knowing that she loved earrings and that Mothers’ Day was coming up, I quietly gathered feathers until I had a nice pair, searched up a video tutorial, went to the craft store and back home, and immediately made a pair of earrings. I had so much fun (and my mom loved them), that I started to take apart whatever jewelry I had and started making new pieces. I was hooked! From there I continued to make jewelry as gifts or donations, and did that for 3.5 years until I decided I wanted to market my jewelry.

So it started with a gift, continued with giving – that is a major part of the KR Jewelry brand, and what it was founded upon. Selling it only provides me more opportunities to continue to give (I have never said no to a raffle/auction) and support our community and the volunteers/staff that are pouring so much into it.

 

TPS: How does #FridayFallFundraiser fit into your mission?

Karen: While I haven’t coined a phrase for a mission, I know that I want to make jewelry because it is a creative outlet, and that because it has the power to make a positive impact. 

I started #FridayFallFundraiser in 2018 because I wanted to initiate my own fundraiser. While I will always donate to raffles and auctions, I had an itch to take initiative and be a leader in the business community by creating my own fundraiser. I did not want to sit and wait to be asked to contribute to something, I wanted to do something myself. 

 

TPS: What’s your creative process like? It felt like that first giveaway piece you made to kick off the fundraiser was designed so perfectly for TPS!

Karen: I am completely inspired by the materials. The gemstones, the textures, the shine… the shapes. It is kind of hard to explain, but I like to figure out new ways to put all these materials together in a way that is unique, one-of-a-kind, and beautiful! Some have described my pieces as “from another time” which I really love.

 

 

TPS: What’s the importance of businesses like yours continuing to donate and fundraise on behalf of charitable organizations, especially in these uncertain times?

Karen: Having worked in Community for so long outside of the jewelry business, I saw firsthand how challenging it can be to fundraise, even in non-pandemic times. With a community full of many worthy nonprofits and charities, fundraising has to be creative even in a regular year. I also simply and truly believe in the concept of Community - taking care of one another, looking out for one another, and reaching out to offer a helping hand - and businesses like KR Jewelry benefit from a strong community, so it is in a way giving back.

2020 has been tough on fundraising, but 2021 might be even worse as the organizations that provide funding will likely be looking at reduced budgets for philanthropy and sponsorship. So now, more than ever, it is so important to support our nonprofit organizations that really do provide vibrancy to our community - something we all benefit from! I encourage and welcome any small creative business to take the #FridayFallFundraiser model, pick an organization to support, and get fundraising with their following - that is an amazing gift to the community.

 

TPS: How can people best support both KR Jewelry and The Princess Shop during this pandemic, even if they can’t afford to purchase items or donate?

Karen: Both of us are quite active on social media, so following, liking, commenting, sharing (this one especially), to help spread the word. And not even just on social media. Be a vocal advocate in your day-to-day life with coworkers and friends – tell them about The Princess Shop. The more people know about organizations like The Princess Shop, the quicker they will be able to step up and support when they can, because they are keeping their community front of mind. I believe that it is not just up to non-profit organizations to spread their own word and gain awareness, I believe it should be a community effort. I urge citizens to meet community organizations half way, pay attention to the amazing initiatives and programs happening right here in our backyard, learn about them, get involved if you can, and simply be a community advocate.

 

TPS: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to businesses and non-profits during this time of covid-19?

Karen: This is not the time to dwell on what once was, or wait on things to return to “normal”... even as we establish the “new normal”. I’ve watched businesses adapt with a growth mindset and those businesses have been successful. I have also seen some businesses that took this time to work on wish-list items (e.g. renovations, restructuring) to improve their current offering or customer experience, and they were able to because they had saved financially. There is a lot to learn from that as well.

 

Thank you Karen, for all that you do for the community! KR Jewelry can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Important Announcement Regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 Graduation Season

posted by The Princess Shop    |   April 1, 2020 11:26

We hope that everyone is staying safe and well during this difficult time! We are sending our love out to the community. Please read this letter from our Board Chair Kayla Brien. We want to say thank you to all of the supporters of The Princess Shop, and we will be in touch with everyone who is involved with the Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses shortly.

 

A Year in the Life of a Core Volunteer

posted by The Princess Shop    |   July 5, 2019 11:30

Written by Sarah Hadley.

In May of 2018, I had just finished my first year of university at the UofS. I had a job at a local company that was offering me casual hours, so I was on the search for a second job over the summer. In my job search, I came across a posting for a volunteer representative position at The Princess Shop. Not even knowing what The Princess Shop was about, I went ahead and applied anyway. I was in need of volunteer experience for my resume. However, The Princess Shop quickly became so much more than just something to put on my resume.

When I walked into The Princess Shop for the first time, I was surprised to see so many dresses. I would later find out that the quantity of dresses is in the thousands. I was also surprised to see a woman sitting at a desk who I thought might have been a volunteer (with super cool glasses), it was Karen. Karen interviewed me and I was instantly inspired by her and what The Princess Shop stands for. I soon became the newest member of the core volunteer team. I attended my first meeting and I was… confused. It was the middle of grad season and there was a whirlwind of things going on, I had a lot to learn, but I was determined to catch up. I shadowed a dress appointment and got to meet my first Princess Graduates. Soon, grad season was over, and The Princess Shop was coming to its end of year in July. We had the first fundraiser I would attend, and I was blown away by the effort and skill that goes into planning these events and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Over the summer, I helped plan and volunteered at a few fundraisers put on by The Princess Shop. At the end of the summer, we had a lot of changes to the core team and I was nervous about welcoming new members to the team and no longer being the ‘newbie’. Soon after, we started planning The Glass Slipper, our biggest annual fundraiser that takes place every April. I was so in awe of how huge this event really was. I had never attended before, so I was unsure of exactly the magnitude of it. We brought in our Glass Slipper Coordinator, Colleen, and I was blown away by the efforts that she and Karen put in to put all of this together. From October to March, we were in full planning mode every Thursday night to put this together (with Colleen and Karen putting full-time effort into the planning). It was an intense process, and it seriously paid off. The morning of the Glass Slipper I had a final exam, so I wasn’t there for the setup. But when I made it to TCU Place I was awestruck. The venue was so gorgeous and extravagant. It exceeded every expectation I had of the event and immediately all of the work that we had put in for the last few months had paid off. Even with a couple of bumps in the road, The Glass Slipper Benefit in 2019 turned out to be a huge success, and it will be a night I will likely never forget.

After The Glass Slipper, more and more dress appointments started rolling in. I was excited to finally be leading dress appointments having had the proper training. No dress appointment goes completely smoothly, but I think that’s part of the beauty of it. There will always be bumps in the road, but watching the graduates pick out their beautiful dresses is such a fulfilling experience for me. I enjoy lacing up corsets and the graduates trying on their jewellery. Some will facetime family and friends when they think they’ve found ‘the dress’ and get their approval. I was and still am so excited about dress appointments because no matter what, there is always so much happiness in The Shop during this time. Finally, grad days came around. I had my first grad day recently. It was panicky and rushed but it was also amazing. The big day had finally come for these women. The day that is the reason The Princess Shop exists.

At the end of it all, a Princess Graduate had told me how grateful she was for me this day and everything was made so worth it and the panic and craziness of the day was forgotten. It’s been an insane year. From being the new kid to veteran volunteer, I have become not only a better volunteer for The Princess Shop, but I have also become a better person. The Princess Shop, and outgoing Executive Director, Karen, have inspired me so much. I can’t wait to see what the Next Chapter of The Princess Shop looks like with our new Executive Director, Kelsey, and I can’t wait to continue to contribute to making an impact in our community. There is no other experience like this one, and I am so lucky to have found The Princess Shop.

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The Princess Shop
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12 - 1622 Ontario Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S8
t: 306-222-3311

Kelsey Murphy, Executive Director

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